The Sugar Beet Co-op is close to signing a 10-year lease with Interfaith Housing Development Corporation for a 5,300 square foot retail space at 812 W. Madison in Oak Park, the co-op announced.
The LEED-certified space is on the first floor of the newly opened low income apartment building owned by the housing corporation. The co-op hopes to open the retail space by summer 2015, according to an announcement on the Sugar Beet Co-op website. The co-op, formed in early 2012, works to provide a neighborhood source for local, sustainable and healthy foods and a way of connecting farmers and producers to their consumers.
The announcement reads: "Both Interfaith and The Sugar Beet are excited about the synergy between our community-owned grocery store and the residents who will live above the store. It is a good match for both parties and local residents and we have the support of The Madison Street Business Association and The Village of Oak Park, as well.
"When The Sugar Beet Co-op Core Committee learned about the leasing opportunity and below market lease terms offered by Interfaith, we began working with a group of co-op members to secure funds to lease the retail space. In 8 weeks we have secured almost $200k in pledges that will make this important step possible and get us well on our way to opening our community co-op in early 2015.
"This development has activated many projects within our Core Committee including tightening the program for build-out, working with other agencies to ensure sustainability, building our product sourcing guidelines, vendor list and more.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are grateful for your commitment to this project. YOU- our community of neighbors of neighbors and friends in the good food movement are making change happen. TOGETHER- we are building something that will serve our community and our regional farmers and producers for years to come.
"Please help us spread the word and help build membership and support through your circles by sharing this news and your commitment to change."
For more information about the Sugar Beet Co-op, go to www.sugarbeetcoop.com.